The Staff Working Group for Belonging, Community, and Diversity has developed the below resources as a complement to its programming and events.

Definitions and Resources

Anti-Blackness: Refers to actions or behaviors that minimize, marginalize, or devalue the full participation of Black people in life (from UCI).

Belonging: The feeling of security and support when there is a sense of acceptance, inclusion, and identity for a member of a certain group. It is when an individual can bring their authentic self to work. When employees feel like they don’t belong at work, their performance and their personal lives suffer. Creating genuine feelings of belonging for all is a critical factor in improving engagement and performance (from Cornell University).

Campus Climate: Includes the experience of individuals and groups on a campus—and the quality and extent of the interaction between those various groups and individuals.

Cultural Humility: Cultural humility is a process of self-reflection and discovery in order to build honest and trustworthy relationships. It offers promise for researchers to understand and eliminate health disparities, a continual and disturbing problem necessitating attention and action on many levels. (from Cultural humility: Essential foundation for clinical researchers, Katherine A. Yeager and Susan Bauer-Wu).

Empowering: To empower someone means to give them the means to achieve something, for example, to become stronger or more successful (from the Collins Dictionary). Black empowerment is a policy that aims to give Black people the chance to earn more money, own more property, etc., and have a greater role in the economy than they did before (from Oxford Learner's Dictionaries).

Intersectionality: Intersectionality theory calls scholars to attend to the unequal power relations that underlie social categories, such as race, class, and gender, and to move beyond treating them merely as demographic variables (Caldwell, Guthrie, & Jackson, 2006).

Microaggressions: Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership (from Diversity in the Classroom, UCLA Diversity & Faculty Development, 2014).

Othering: Othering is a phenomenon in which some individuals or groups are defined and labeled as not fitting in within the norms of a social group.

Privilege: Refers to certain social advantages, benefits, or degrees of prestige and respect that an individual has by virtue of belonging to certain social identity groups. Within American and other Western societies, these privileged social identities—of people who have historically occupied positions of dominance over others—include whites, males, heterosexuals, Christians, and the wealthy, among others (from Rider University).

Racism (1): Racism takes many forms and can happen in many places. It includes prejudice, discrimination, or hatred directed at someone because of their color, ethnicity, or national origin. Racism is more than just words, beliefs, and actions. It includes all the barriers that prevent people from enjoying dignity and equality because of their race (from the Australian Human Rights Commission).

Racism (2): Racism is different from racial prejudice, hatred, or discrimination. Racism is when the power elite of one group, the white group, has the power to carry out systematic discrimination through the institutional policies and practices of the society while shaping the cultural beliefs and values that support those racist policies and practices (from Dismantling Racism).

Racelighting: The process whereby people of color question their own thoughts and actions due to systematically delivered racialized messages that make them second guess their own lived experience with racism (Dr. J. Luke Wood as referenced at Juneteenth symposium). Example: “Racelight the community by telling them there is a commitment to them greater than there really is.”

The following context/terms are from the University of Southern California, Center for Urban Education Rossier School of Education. Copyright 2017.

Internalized racism describes the private racial beliefs held by and within individuals. The way we absorb social messages about race and adopt them as personal beliefs, biases, and prejudices are all within the realm of internalized racism. For people of color, internalized oppression can involve believing negative messages about oneself or one’s racial group. For white people, internalized privilege can involve feeling a sense of superiority and entitlement or holding negative beliefs about people of color.

Interpersonal racism is how our private beliefs about race become public when we interact with others. When we act upon our prejudices or unconscious bias—whether intentionally, visibly, verbally, or not—we engage in interpersonal racism. Interpersonal racism also can be willful and overt, taking the form of bigotry, hate speech, or racial violence.

Institutional racism is racial inequity within institutions and systems of power, such as places of employment, government agencies, and social services. It can take the form of unfair policies and practices, discriminatory treatment, and inequitable opportunities and outcomes. A school system that concentrates people of color in the most overcrowded and under-resourced schools with the least qualified teachers compared to the educational opportunities of white students is an example of institutional racism.

Additional Resources